A merry-go round of Michigan assistant coaches step aside this week with head coach Jim Harbaugh reinstated from the university-imposed suspension to start the 2023 season.
The No. 2-ranked Wolverines (3-0) open Big Ten play Saturday in Ann Arbor against Rutgers with Harbaugh on the sideline and calling offensive plays, which should ease some of the communication and substitution errors that muddied spots in their first three games.
“I’m super excited to have coach Harbaugh back. You best believe he’s fired up, too,” running back Blake Corum said. “It’s going to be exciting going back down the tunnel with Coach Harbaugh, having him on the sidelines. I’m amped up. I’m fired up. … It’s going to mean something to have Coach Harbaugh back on the sidelines.”
Harbaugh said the absence “made me a better coach,” but he said there are new guardrails in place to prevent him from being suspended again. The NCAA could still levy punishment for alleged recruiting violations and what their investigators called “misleading” responses from Harbaugh.
In his absence, four different assistant coaches assumed head-coaching responsibilities: defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore, special teams coach Jay Harbaugh and running backs coach Mike Hart.
Harbaugh returns on the heels of quarterback J.J. McCarthy throwing three interceptions in the Wolverines’ 31-6 victory over Bowling Green.
“It’s when you don’t have the right foot discipline, eye discipline, or footwork and then the bad things happen,” Harbaugh said. “Now it’s seared into your brain. You learn more from the mistakes. I think the same as it was in coaching, it is in playing.”
–Field Level Media